Nepal | January 16, 2021

First phase of local elections today

Rupesh Acharya
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• 4,956,925 voters will choose
• 49,337 candidates in fray
• 13,556 positions up for grabs

Ballot boxes

Employees setting up ballot boxes on the eve of civic polls, in Kathmandu, on Saturday, May 13, 2017. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, May 13

Voters of 34 districts of provinces 3, 4 and 6 will be casting their votes tomorrow in the first phase of local level polls that are being conducted after a gap of  19 years.

The second phase is scheduled for June 14.

The Election Commission has said votes could be cast between 7:00am and 5:00pm tomorrow.

A total of   4,956,925 voters  are eligible to vote in the first phase.

Votes will be cast secretly under the first-past-the-post electoral system  on the basis of one post, one vote pattern.

Voters will be electing candidates for  seven posts of a local level, which includes chiefs and deputy chiefs of local levels, ward chair, four  ward members (two female members)  including  a female member from the Dalit community. It is mandatory to have a Dalit woman candidate at the ward level.

A total number of 283 local levels, including four metropolitan cities,  one sub-metropolitan city,  92 municipalities and 186 rural municipalities will elect their representatives.

A total of 49,337 candidates including 30,005 male and 19,332 female are contesting  13,556 posts in the first phase of election.  Among the candidates, 61 per cent are men and 39 percent are women. Out of the women candidates, as many as 7,526 are Dalit women.

A total of 329 candidates — 160 women and 169 men — have already been elected unopposed.

While there are 1,880 candidates (1,723 male, 157 female candidates) for 283 posts of chiefs of local levels; there are 1,384 candidates for the post of 283 deputy chiefs.

A total of 1,127 women are vying for the post of deputy chief.

There are 2,598 posts of ward chairs in the first phase of local polls for which 10,296 males  and 448 females are contesting.

The Election Commission has said that it has completed  preparations in all of the 6,642 polling booths of 34 districts of provinces 3, 4 and 6.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs  there will be a total of 6,641 polling booths in 3,922 polling centres in three provinces.

The last time the country held local polls was in 1997.

Although former King Gyanendra held local elections in 2006 in 56 municipalities, they were not recognised as legitimate as the major  political parties had boycotted the elections at the time.

Due to political instability the government could not hold local polls for years.

The government has deployed  security and polling staffers in places where voters will cast their votes tomorrow.

Government employees, who have been deployed for poll duty continued to distribute voter identity cards today.

Who’s vying for which posts

  •  Voting in 283 local levels — four metropolis,  one sub-metropolis,  92 municipalities and 186 rural municipalities
  • There are 30,005 (61 per cent) male and 19,332 (39 per cent) female candidates  for 13,556 posts
  • 7,526 Dalit women candidates in the fray
  • 169 men 160 women elected unopposed
  • 1,723 men, 157 women candidates vying for posts of 283 local chiefs
  • 1,127 women, 257 men vying for posts of 283 deputy local chiefs
  • 10,296 men, 448 women vying for 2,598 posts of ward chairs

A version of this article appears in print on May 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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